Want to know how to make someone from North Carolina mad? Mistake his or her home state for its neighbor, South Carolina.
That’s what Nike did with a Carolina Panthers shirt it was selling online. It featured the NFL team’s logo embedded in the outline of South Carolina. It also contained the state initials NC.
In a blog post titled “Does Nike Even Know Where Charlotte Is?” columnist Scott Fowler writes
“An alert reader -- Les Hall from Charlotte -- pointed this T-shirt out to me. He was surfing the Nike website this week, he wrote, and looking for new Carolina Panther stuff. He came across this odd T-shirt. It indicates that someone associated with Nike believed that the Panthers play in South Carolina. Or that North Carolina's silhouette looked like South Carolina. Or something …
It's clear somebody messed up.”
Nike yanked the $32 shirt from its online store after complaints started cropping up. The company has yet to say much about it, and hasn’t replaced it with a corrected version.
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Of course, that means the mistaken version will almost certainly be a collector’s item. It almost looks like the ironic t-shirts so many people are fond of wearing, or even intentional trolling of Panther fans. None appear to be available on eBay yet, however.
Advertising Age points out
that this isn’t the only apparel-related gaffe that Nike has made in recent years. Sports fans will recall their attempt at the “Black and Tan” sneaker that sparked an apology to all of Ireland.